Universität Wien FIND

010102 FS Aquinas´s Treatise on Human Acts (ST I-II, qq. 1-21) (2021S)

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 1 - Katholische Theologie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English



Update 11.03.2021:
FR 05.03.2021 09.45-11.15 - digital
FR 16.04.2021 08.00-13.00 - digital
SA 17.04.2021 08.00-13.00 - digital
FR 07.05.2021 08.00-13.00 - digital
SA 08.05.2021 08.00-11.15 - digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Aquinas's treatise on human acts, situated in the First Part of the Second Part of Summa theologiae, is arguably the most systematic treatment of the issue offered by any Scholastic theologian. Due to Aquinas's authority , the treatise on human acts has had an enormous influence on subsequent theological thought and became the standard against which any other account of human action was measured. This fact alone justifies the need to engage with this part of the Summa and to get familiarised with how Aquinas envisions the specification and evaluation of human acts, since the account of human acts will have decisive influence on a whole range of other topics in moral theology (norms, sin, applied issues, so-called sources of morality and their interactions with each other, etc.). This engagement with the original text is the main task of the first part of this seminar that ought to lead the formulation of "research questions" - the issues that Aquinas leaves unresolved, unclear, open to interpretation, or simply unaddressed. With these questions in mind, the seminar will then proceed with the reception of Aquinas's treatise on human acts by selected past and contemporary theologians. By engaging with these different receptions, the students will be offered an opportunity to assess authenticity of these interpretations, to differentiate between Aquinas's account and these later accounts, and to start developing their own thoughts on how a contemporary adaptation of Aquinas's account of human acts might look like.

Assessment and permitted materials

contributions to discussions, seminar paper(s), final paper

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The course assessment comprises of three items: class participation and contribution to discussions (30%); presentation of a seminar paper (30%); final paper (40%).

Examination topics

There will be no final exam for which students would have to prepare by studying certain material, but the course teacher will discuss the final paper of each participant with him/her before determining the final grade.

Reading list

Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, I-II, qq. 1-21.
Selling, Joseph A., Reframing Catholic Theological Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Jensen, Steven J., Good and Evil Actions, Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America, 2010.
Long, Steven A., The Teleological Grammar of the Moral Act, Naples, FL: Sapientia Press, 2015.

Association in the course directory

LV für Doktorat-/PhD-Studium, für 011 (15W) FTH 26, 199 518 MA UF RK 02 oder RK 05, auslaufende Studienpläne: DAM für 011 (11W

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:25